DSCOVR in safe mode


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The solar wind monitoring satellite DSCOVR has gone into safe mode.

It is at present unclear what the problem is, or whether they can recover the spacecraft.

DSCOVR’s history is packed with political shenanigans. It was first proposed by Gore as Triana, with its only purpose to take global pictures of the Earth so Gore and the left could use these images for environmental propaganda. Bush canceled it, partly because it really had no legitimate scientific purpose and partly to prevent the left this propaganda tool. It was resurrected during the Obama administration but with a more useful purpose, providing early solar wind data so that Earth-based power grids could get prepared should a major solar storm be incoming. NASA’s other solar wind monitors ACE and SOHO, were already decades beyond their planned lifespan, and the space agency, the solar weather community, and especially the world’s electrical power industry, was desperate to get a new satellite in space.

Ironically, with DSCOVR’s shutdown we are still dependent on ACE and SOHO. Nor is there any replacement satellite anywhere close to launch.

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3 comments

  • ” . . . the solar weather community, and especially the world’s electrical power industry, was desperate to get a new satellite in space.”

    ‘A wise man can smell profit on the wind.’

    Ferengi proverb

  • Wodun

    Ironically, it would have shown a greener Earth and that things weren’t as the alarmists predicted. But that is how things are now and they still find a way to keep the fearmongering industry alive.

  • D. Messier

    Wikipedia says the National Academies of Sciences examined the mission in 2000 and found it to be “strong and scientifically vital.” It was Bush that placed it in storage rather than on STS-107 the doomed Columbia flight. It could have been launched in 2003 without the extra storage, refurbishment and launch costs.

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